An increasing number of U.K. lawmakers are seeking help for alcohol-related problems, the parliamentary speaker said Sunday, saying drinking problems among legislators mirrored those of British society at large.
Heavy subsidies on alcohol at Parliament's nearly 20 bars and restaurants had been removed following a drunken brawl in February, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said.
In that incident, Labour lawmaker Eric Joyce head-butted Stuart Andrew, from the rival Conservative Party, and also assaulted two local Conservative officials and a Labour colleague at Parliament's Stranger's bar after complaining that there were "too many" Conservatives in the boozer.
Joyce resigned from the Labour Party the following month, saying that he "had a number of personal issues to address."
Bercow suggested in an interview broadcast Sunday that Joyce wasn't alone.
"There is some evidence now that more members and staff who have got drink-related issues are seeking help and that's a positive," the speaker told Sky News television. "I think we are a reflection of society and, just as there are people in every walk of life who have got issues to do with alcohol, and possibly other addiction issues, there can be problems in this place."
The brawl highlighted both British lawmakers' culture of drinking and the heavily discounted booze on sale in Parliament.
Britain as a whole has been struggling to find ways of controlling its binge-drinking culture, which has seen a rise in rates of liver disease and alcohol-related deaths over the past two decades.
'Pathetic!' Hey, media lickspittles: You won't like this truth-boom question from James Woods, but we LOVE it
Trey Gowdy on Kevin McCarthy’s Hillary comments: Apologizing doesn’t fix the damage to the Benghazi committee
Ted Cruz finds a question that the Sierra Club DARED not answer. | RedState
Why Conservatives Elected to Congress Turn Into Moderates | Human Events
Thomas Sowell - Charlatans and Sheep: Part II
Recycling: The Triumph of Feel-Goodism over Common Sense
Not Welcome in Umpqua: Armed Protest May Greet President's Attempt to Exploit Tragedy - Bearing Arms - Barack Obama, Mass Shooting, Oregon, Umpqua Community College